31d-Interlude: Memorial Day Weekend 2016 in Bay Ridge

We are enjoying beautiful weather here in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY.  Spring is moving into Summer and the prelude is gorgeous.  I took a walk yesterday to Ridge Boulevard and eventually meandered down towards Shore Road.  I never tire of the many moods that the time of day, the weather and the people enjoying the parkland create.  These photos were taken after 6 p.m. Since this is a holiday weekend the mood was much different than a regular weekend.  There was a sense of relaxation and calm as people lingered to enjoy the view of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Staten Island and all the boats gliding on the water.

I hope you’ll enjoy these photos.  I’ve not added any captions because none are needed.  The mood of the holiday weekend comes across very well in each photo.  If you went away this weekend or are planning a vacation, please tell us about it.

A walk along Shore Road, Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday May 28, 2016




Continue reading “31d-Interlude: Memorial Day Weekend 2016 in Bay Ridge”

31c-Bella Italia in 1976: Positano

Our last week in Italy 1976. Third stop: Positano

Route from Amalfi to Positano.

Some facts about Positano

  • Ancient legends related that Positano was established by the sea god Neptune for the nymph Pasitea.
  • Positano is sometimes called the “Gem of the Divine Coast.”
  • Tourism increased after WWII.
  • The town continues to preserve its distinctive appearance created by the many buildings layered into the hillside.
  • The town is known for the high quality clothing made and sold in the many small local boutiques.

Continue reading “31c-Bella Italia in 1976: Positano”

31b-Bella Italia in 1976: Amalfi

Our last week in Italy 1976. Second stop:  Amalfi


Route from Paestum to Amalfi.

 A few facts about Amalfi


  • The Amalfi Coastline is called Costiera Amalfitana in Italian.
  • Other towns along the Costiera Amalfitana are Positano and Ravella.
  • The lemons grown in Amalfi are sweet and used in the making of Limoncello.
  • Amalfi was one of the first of four maritime republics in Italy with the best code of maritime law.
  • The more remote areas of Amalfi are home to foxes, ravens and falons. There is little human impact made on these dry areas. Some of the trees which grow there are beech and chestnut.


Our Vacation in Italy 1976: Remembering Amalfi


With the impressions of Paestum lingered in my mind, we were back on the road heading for Amalfi. We spent the next day and night there with a relative.  Along the way Antonio stopped so we could take photos and admire the natural beauty of the Amalfi Coastline.


Italia once more proved a wonderful guide and companion for us all. She told us that Amalfi was a very popular spot for the wealthy and famous.  She knew of a little restaurant hidden in a courtyard off a little street.  We were headed there for lunch.  Grandpa Sam was not disappointed when we got there.  He said the seafood was almost as good as it was in Agropoli.  The pasta sauce also got praise from Grandma Josie.  What I remember most was that the town was so pretty as it came into sight.  I thought it was like a confection with all its layers reminding me of a pastel colored layer cake.  I still think it would have been wonderful to have gone from Amalfi to the Isle of Capri, a place I have always wanted to see.  Our next stop, however, was Gaeta.  So many picturesque towns and so limited was our time!  The entire coastline from Agropoli to Capri is so gorgeous I’d tell anyone planning a trip to take two to three weeks to see it in a leisurely fashion.  It’s the only way to take it all in and feel the experience in all its richness.


One of the main sites in Amalfi is St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Italia took us there after lunch.  When Grandpa Sam saw the stairs he declined the invitation to go into the church.  Antonio and his daughter Stefania also found the day too hot.  Stefania, as I remember, kept saying “Gelato” the Italian word for ice cream.  When we got into the church it was too hot to appreciate the beauty.  We quickly came out and down all those steps.  By that time Stefania, Grandpa Sam and Antonio were cooled off and rested.


From Our Photo Album



EmilyAnn in Amalfi. Summer 1976.


This photo was taken on the little street that opened up to a courtyard where we enjoyed lunch at a small restaurant. Amalfi, Summer 1976.  Left to right:  Grandma Josie, Grandpa Sam, Antonio, Italia.  Grandpa Sam was not one to smile but you see the hint of one in this photo.  He was very pleased with lunch, the location and what an excellent knowledge Italia had about the best places to visit in each town we stayed at.

Continue reading “31b-Bella Italia in 1976: Amalfi”

31a-Bella Italia in 1976: Paestum


The focus of our family history blog will be changing as we complete our study of the lives and times of our ancestors in Agropoli.   Uncle Sammy and I thought this is the appropriate time to present the remaining photos and memories of the trip I took to Italy with Grandma Josie and Grandpa Sam in July 1976.  This series of postings called “Bella Italia” will consist of those photos and reflections.  After this we will share what we are learning about the Muro and Serrapede family members after they settled in America.

Our last week in Italy 1976:  A day trip to Paestum


 The route from Agropoli to Paestum.

A few facts about Paestum

• There are three temples in an excellent state of preservation.  These were dedicated to the deities Hera, Poseidon and Athena.

• Paestum was near a swamp.  Travelers had to use small boats to cross the swamp to get to the town.

• The site became a breeding ground for malaria leading to a decline in the population.

• Rising water levels eventually submerged the town for over 900 years.

• The remains of the three temples and parts of the city were discovered when a road was being build in 1748.

Continue reading “31a-Bella Italia in 1976: Paestum”

30d-Mother’s Day 2016-In Memory of Our Matriarchs

Lord Frederick Leighton “Mother and Child”
Public Domain.  Image from Pinterest.

We give thanks for all the matriarchs in our family line.  Their lives, love, care and sacrifices have contributed to who we are today.

Serrapede Family

Angela Maria Borrelli
Anna Maria Conte
Filomena Ruocco
Antonia Ruocco
Nicoletta Cuoco
Teresa Marino
Giovanna Battista
Teresa Patella d’Alessandro
Emilia Pappalardo

Muro Family

Anna Maria Monzillo
Carminela Cavollo
Clarice Serrapede
Giuseppa Ruocco
Anna Maria Baldi
Rosolia Patella
Maddelena Montone
Irene Guzzi
Maria Giovanna di Giaimo
Letizia Scotti
Rosina Aiello Marasco Muro

Through Josie Muro Serrapede and her daughter Emily L. Serrapede we have had the presence of these earlier mothers in our lives.  Through the flow of time the contributions each has made live on.

Our prayer is that you all may  now be rewarded for the work which you did in this world and that one day we will meet in the world to come.


–EmilyAnn Frances May

–Sam Serrapede, Jr.

Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, 2016

30d-Mother’s Day 2016


There are so many lovely words that I would like to include in this post about how important a loving Mother is.  There is a problem with that:  the posting would have no end!  I thought I’d share this photo of some of my Mom’s collectibles.  I always took for granted the way she arranged the most unlikely combinations of figurines and miniatures along with collectible plates and cups.  Having these little keepsakes now reminds me that there is a beauty in housecaring and a spiritual side to creating a lovely home.  The most important thing is to internalize these important lessons so that they live within our hearts and our memories.

Here’s a poem by an anonymous author that I hope will impart the message I wish I could convey.

Happy Mother’s Day, Sunday May 7th, 2016.

by Anonymous

There is no love like a mother’s love,
no stronger bond on earth
Like the precious bond that comes from God,
to a mother when she gives birth.
A mother’s love is forever strong,
never changing for all time
And when her children need her most,
a mother’s love will shine.
God bless these special mothers,
God bless them every one
For all the tears and heartache,
and for the special work they’ve done.
When her days on earth are over,
a mother’s love lives on
Through many generations,
with God’s blessings on each one.
Be thankful for our mothers,
for they love with a higher love
From the power God has given,
and the strength from up above.



“Mother’s Are Special”
public domain poem by
an anonymous author
From Inspirational Poems and Quotes.net




30c-Did Giuseppe Comite of Agropoli become Guy Comite in Wilmerding PA?


Genealogist Anthony Vermandois has compiled the vital statistics and marriage information spanning the early 19th-early 20th centuries for the inhabitants of Agropoli and other towns in Campania, Italy.  The chart of descent used for this week’s posting on the Comite  family is available at Anthony’s website Imagines Maiorum.

Relationship Notes

Giuseppe Comite accompanied Letizia Scotti Muro and her daughter Giuseppina during the voyage from Agropoli to America in 1912.  Please see 30b-Muro Family-Letizia and Giuseppa leave for America  for details.

At this point we are not sure if there is a relationship by marriage or blood between the Muro and Comite families.  If there is a relationship it would come through the Ruocco family but we cannot find the common link.

Giuseppa Ruocco Muro was mother-in-law of Letizia Scotti Muro.
Antonia Ruocco di Raffaele Comite was the mother of Giuseppe Comite.

Letizia was:
–Sammy’s maternal Grandmother
–EmilyAnn’s Great Grandmother along the maternal line

Researching possible relatives by opening a “case file”

Every research session and database search contains the possibility of a discovering a new relative or family friend.  Rather than keep everything in the Shoebox folder at Ancestry, we’ve started creating our own “case files”.

There are always lulls in the research on the main family lines when new search strategies or findings yield very little. When this happens it’s good to take a break and turn attention to those people like Giuseppe Comite or cousin Sabato Serrapede who interest us in the same way a mystery continually calls the detective back to his case.  Having a case file on hand, complete with records and notes makes resuming the search much easier because it is better organized than the Shoebox which is really just a catchall for records.  With a “case file” on your own computer you can organize the data as you like as well as keep better track of your notes.  This posting gives you an idea of how we opened the case file on Giuseppe Comite.

Continue reading “30c-Did Giuseppe Comite of Agropoli become Guy Comite in Wilmerding PA?”